#1
I'm sorry if this is the wrong forum, but since I'm learning the acoustic guitar, I though some of you more seasoned players can help. Basically, I'm still taking the baby steps in guitar playing, so I'm not sure really how to structure my practice time. I would like to practice for about 4 hours a day, but i can't do it at once, simply because my attention span isn't extremely long. I need to practice scales, chords, new theory and some song playing. Should I do the different things in different sittings? Or little portions of everything throughout the day? What should i start with, how should I end? I'm sorry I'm asking so many questions, but I would really like to learn what works for you. Thanks in advance!
#2
I tell my beginner students to aim for 5 minutes a day, with the aim that they will regularly turn that into 20-30 minutes. This is because the regularity is more helpful than long bouts; doubly so if you have low concentration. If you're not concentrating, you're not learning. Also, leave your guitar out on a stand or wherever is safe, so long as it is out, as you will tend to pick it up for a few minutes at a time every now and then; have it in arm's reach of your favourite TV-watching couch so you pick it up during adverts, for example.

Try and focus on one or two things at a time although not too much that you get sick of them because, again, you're going to lose concentration and learn nothing. By "focus" I mean make a couple of things the bulk of your practice, but don't be afraid to noodle; not only will this relieve some boredom (see above for effects concentration ), its still good practice - your hands need to get used to the guitar.

As you build up your knowledge, its good to revisit things you've done in the past so you don't forget them. And lastly, 4 hours a day is a big commitment and requires an extreme amount of concentration. I studied Classical music performance at university, and I did around 6 - 8 hours a day then, so 4 hours for a beginner is just far too much.
#3
^ +1 (apart from the fact I didn't study classical music performance at university, and i've never done more than about 2 hours a day)

also i'd set aside some time for having fun/playing songs you like (not quite the same as noodling, though the idea is the same). you don't have to be practising all the time. i'm playing 99% of the time, not practising

maybe check out justin guitar or something like that to see what it says about practice schedules. I'm sure it has a bit on it (it's excellent, even more so when you consider it's free, though he accepts donations).
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Last edited by Dave_Mc at Jul 2, 2014,
#4
best advice i received and didn't take when starting was playing with a metronome. I use guitar pro and slow down exercises and speed them up playing clean. VERY HELPFUL

you should be able to get tuxguitar for free if you want to use it, or if you don't want to use a computer, then just buy the old school metronome.

**Sorry I know that's not in line with a practice schedule, but i thought it was worth mentioning**

Doug Marks at metal method offers a cheap 5 excel sheet on how to create a good practice schedule. He teaches electric, but the schedule spreadsheet can be adopted for regardless; plus it's only 5 bucks. Good stuff if you need guidance....
Last edited by boyd98 at Jul 2, 2014,
#5
Quote by boyd98
best advice i received and didn't take when starting was playing with a metronome. I use guitar pro and slow down exercises and speed them up playing clean. VERY HELPFUL

you should be able to get tuxguitar for free if you want to use it, or if you don't want to use a computer, then just buy the old school metronome.

**Sorry I know that's not in line with a practice schedule, but i thought it was worth mentioning**


Totally worth mentioning - if you can't play it flawlessly, every time, slowly, you can't play it fast. It gives you thinking time to review what your hands are doing and why a particular passage may be difficult.
#6
I would say not to create a fixed schedule, because you might find that you're forcing yourself to play when you don't want to do so, and could create an illusion that you're not enjoying yourself. Just know it's better to practice for fewer hours altogether but more consistently (i.e. 30 minutes every day instead of 7 hours a single day and not again for the rest of the week).

I can't imagine that many people can practise for four hour bouts daily. You'll soon find yourself getting stuck into routines that you can't escape because the repetition will be embedded into your playing.

Speaking on behalf of only myself, I'd say that it's easier to practice through small portions of the day. It's easier to keep your playing and your mind fresh, but this is not to say that I've never played for hours continuously.
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